“To live a life of no travel, is like only reading one page of a book” stated Ms Chrismare Carse, one of the judges of the 7th Annual Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Mayoral Tourism Awards. The Mayoral Tourism Awards celebrates the achievements of tourism businesses in the Cape Winelands Tourism industry. Showcasing outstanding performers, products and dedication to service. The ceremony took place on Thursday, 26 September 2019 and brought together the BEST that tourism in the Cape Winelands has to offer. “This event is a true celebration of the people in tourism in the Cape Winelands!” Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht stated during her address.
The international theme for tourism in 2019/2020 is ‘Jobs through tourism’. As a district municipality, the CWDM strives to grow an economy that benefits all in the community, and therefore one of the focus areas of the municipality’s management and Council is to opportunities for social and economic development. Mayor von Schlicht explained, “We are involved in tourism because we recognize the opportunity for economic growth, skills development and building of our intellectual capital that the tourism industry offers.”
In an effort to recognize the valuable input of the tourism sector, the CWDM confers the Mayoral Tourism Award on local establishments that treat guests in such a manner that they keep coming back.
The categories include, Service Excellence, Wine (or Distillery) Tourism Destination, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development as well as a Mayoral Discretionary Award which was bestowed upon a tourism individual, entity, project, festival or event that made a significant impact on the tourism industry.
The winners in the category Sustainable Development is Fynbos Guest Farm outside Tulbagh, who entered in the Sustainable Development category. They offer camping and self-catering chalets, each with its own relaxed feel. There are a number of animals for children to feed, a few enigmatic emus, some potbelly pigs and the most gorgeous peacocks, all these animals are rescues. The runner-up in this category is the completely off-the grid African Game Lodge situated about 32 km outside Montagu.
The winners in Service Excellence, category Accommodation were as follows. For the sub-category, Luxury Hotels, The Light House Boutique Hotel in Paarl took honors. Tucked away in Paarl, this luxurious hotel offers a sumptuous environment where your every need is catered for by highly attentive staff. In the same category for the sub-category of Self-Catering, Big Sky Cottages in Wolseley took first place for their comfortable, thoughtful facilities, collaboration with local businesses and the pure experience of their space. The well-known Avalon Springs in Montagu walked away winners in the Family Accommodation section. For years, these natural warm springs have attracted young and old to their relaxing, safe and comforting arms. The Montagu/Ashton Local Tourism Association walked away with the first prize for their incredible service to tourism in the area.
Montagu and Franschhoek establishments submitted entries in the Entrepreneurship category. Flying Feet in Montagu, owned and run by the bow-tied Marchelle van Zyl, received the runner-up accolade, offers walking and bicycle tours designed to fascinate visitors of all ages, and for the more adventurous, there is the late-evening ghost tour. The new business and winner in this category, Le Tuksi Tuk Tuk in Franschhoek, is situated opposite the big church in Main Road and offers tours, pick-ups and drop-offs at various wine cellars as well as many special events that will make your stay in the area a treat.
The Cape Winelands is called the Winelands for a reason no tourism award would be complete without a wine destination category. The two top wine destinations were Val du Charron in Wellington for their wonderful ambience and wide choice of activities, followed by BluVine in Montagu, who offer the visitor a New York experience with a local feel and staff who often, quite spontaneously, perform song and dance to the delight of all.
The CWDM urges local and visitors alike to go online and visit the web pages of the winners, take a drive or plan a weekend getaway, this district offers something for everyone. Take a day trip or, even better, stay for a while. After all, we have 1 000 things to do and then some wine!